It’s that time of year again, where love is in the air. Imagine being surrounded by pure white beaches and deep blue coastlines, glimmering city lights, picturesque landscapes and sunsets, snow-filled mountain tops or just a cup of hot cocoa by the fire; whatever your romantic getaway of choice, there's a trip just waiting to enliven the passionate character in all of us!
Close your eyes and imagine the deep blue Mediterranean sea and listen to the sounds of nature. Although the tourist capital of Sicily, Taormina has a magical and mythical atmosphere which has captivated its visitors for many years. It’s an enchanting hilltop city located next to Mount Etna, Europe’s largest, most active volcano. Surrounded by charming medieval buildings, spiraling cobbled streets and incredible coastline views, Taormina is the historical gem of the east coast of Italy. Stroll up to its most famous Ancient Greek Theatre, the main monument of the city, where you can indulge yourself in the ancient history whilst watching the sunset behind the mountains. How about taking a boat trip around the coastline to Grotto Amoretta “Lovers Cave”, and enjoy a picnic with a bottle of the Castelmola Almond Wine. What could be more romantic than that?
Well… located in the upper part of Taormina, Tripadvisors nominated “Top Hotel For Romance”, Hotel Villa Ducale is the perfect choice, benefiting from an extremely favourable position, just a few minutes from the historical centre and offering stunning panoramas and the tranquillity we all need. With luxurious antique rooms, Sicilian fabrics and old iron balconies with mesmerising sea views, Hotel Villa Ducale really is the cherry on top of this romantic getaway. The best time to visit Taormina is early summertime, between April and June where you can enjoy the sunshine without being too hot! Relax, unwind and immerse yourself in the archetypal Mediterranean atmosphere.
Filled with artistic streets and imperial architecture, Vienna is one of the most famous and loved cities in Europe. Known as the cultural capital, it’s a city with unique charm and outstanding musical heritage; home to historical musicians such as Mozart, Beethoven & Schubert. Vienna is just one of those cities that has managed to make each and every one of its corners beautiful and charming, it’s the ideal city for anyone looking for a romantic city break. Take in the view whilst cruising along the Danube River, surround yourself with free-flying butterflies at the Schmetterlinghaus (The Imperial Butterfly House) or enchant yourself with grand chandeliers, marble staircases and incredible performances at the Staatsoper Opera House. The best time to visit is between April to May, or September to October to avoid the popular tourist times, but also for enjoying the great weather!
The Grand Ferdinand hotel is a ‘must stay’ if you are visiting the incredible Vienna. It’s a stunning, rediscovered 1950s building set on the historic Ringstrasse with bold colour palettes and mid-century furniture; think roll top baths, grand unique interiors and Viennese cuisine. With three restaurants for everything from casual to fine dining, you’re spoilt for choice at The Grand Ferdinand. For an overall romantic experience, head up to the roof terrace where you can reimagine the city’s old tradition of grand private salons, where art and ideas would be discussed.
Next but not least is none other than the City of Romance itself, the elegant Paris.
Known for its iconic architecture, adored cuisine, chic fashion and artistic treasures, indulge yourself in the romantic nostalgia of nineteenth-century Paris. Picture a location steeped in history, walking along cobbled streets and passing architectural masterpieces as the scent of fresh bread rises from the boulangeries and takes over your senses. Paris doesn’t really need an introduction, it is the most famous city in the world for a reason, yet many people forget just how magical it can be. Steal a kiss under one of the most famous buildings in the world, the iconic Eiffel Tower, take a romantic stroll along the Steine towards the sunset and watch it reflect its glimmering lights at night or visit Le Mur Des Je T’aime (The Wall Of Love). Nothing says “I Love You” more than it written in 250 languages.
Nestled in St Germain-des-Pres, the heart of the bohemian style set since the 1960s, L'Hôtel is the perfect chic French stay. It was the first boutique hotel of its kind and is now one of the city's smallest five star hotels, having been a secret hideaway that played host to many celebrities over the past two centuries, from Oscar Wilde to David Bowie. Despite its huge popularity, L'Hôtel has managed to flow under the radar and still remains a well-kept secret on the Left Bank. It also has one of the most exclusive places to eat in Paris, Le Restaurant, full of classically French flavours and Michelin-starred specialities. Spend your getaway in hideaway cafes with French pastries, browsing through Parisian boutique stores, strolling down its cobbled streets, taking in its captivating monuments and architecture, and enjoying the immense nightlife with a glass or two of local French wine.
This is the city with the perfect balance between urban areas and greenery, with a buzzing suburban vibe. The ever-evolving Stockholm is known to its locals as the ‘beauty on water’, where there is plenty of romance to be had!
Spend your days wandering the streets of Old Town, Gamla Stan. This medieval town has its own entirely unique character, like the stuff they write about in storybooks. Take a stroll up the Monteliusvägen cliff path to watch the sunrise or sunset on the magnificent Lake Mälaren and enjoy the traditional Kanelbulle (so much more than just a Swedish cinnamon bun!) under the blossoming cherry trees in the Kungsträdgården, Swedish for King’s Garden. If you’re looking for that cosy winter wonderland feel, the best time to visit is between November and February. Otherwise, beat the tourists and see the cherry trees blossom by visiting at the end of April to the beginning of May.
Nestled in nature by the Lake Mälaren, Görvälns Slott is the hotel to stay. This manor house was built in 1679, with much of the property giving off a timeless feel, yet its filled with modern amenities and an abundance of mischievous attitude. If you’re looking for a romantic yet luxurious getaway, the mesmerising nature and unbelievable convenience of Görvälns Slott make for a royal treatment in Sweden.
On the West coast of Kotor, Montenegro, Dobrota really is a luxury escape. It is a natural beauty on the Adriatic Coast full of wonders and diverse landscapes such as beaches, mountains, lakes and rivers. Although Dobrota may not immediately spring to mind when thinking of a romantic getaway, this breathtaking country is rapidly giving itself a reputation as a wonderful place to explore.
Wind down for the day in a restored cafe or restaurant overlooking the picturesque views of Mount Vrmac and take in the mesmerising terrain and reflective waters surrounding you. It's a place of beautiful surprises, exciting adventures, homely atmosphere and impressive contrasts, an unexpected treasure attracting more and more explorers every year.
Invigorate your senses with an ambient stay within the regal surroundings of Palazzo Radomiri, a palace in its own right, set in the heart of Boka Bay. It once belonged to shipowners and famous sea captains, and has since been restored to its former architectural glory. Discover the original character of the building with its antique, baroque details and exposed stone walls that complete the delightful furnishings. Revitalise your mentality with a host of complimentary amenities: morning yoga, meditation, coastal kayaking, spa treatments and something for your stomach too, in the way of daily breakfasts. How much more romantic can you get than that? Let the waterfront palazzo bewitch you with its picturesque beauty and leave you longing to return.
Of course, another destination in the beautiful Italy! Collazzone is Umbria’s best kept secret. It’s a hilltop village, located 170 metres high, filled with medieval origins, untouched green landscapes, ancient architecture and tiny alleyways and is the only region in Italy with no coastline. From the main piazza, take a romantic stroll up to the Church of St Lorenzo and admire its stunning build and history. Just a short walk down cobbled streets, discover cherished local pizzerias, cafes and ancient monuments.
Located in the heart of the undulating Umbrian countryside, the La Segreta estate is set on a 70-acre nature preserve, allowing you access to the secrets of the land. Made up of one picturesque villa rental and farmhouse, homemade cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil and organic hand-blended red wine, this place really offers you a little piece of your own Umbrian countryside! Enjoy walks down peaceful pathways, forests, fields and valleys, with each and every view leaving feeling inspired. In the surrounding nature reserve, take a basket and pick from the selection of fruit, relax in the infinity pool with your loved one and explore this historical land hand-in-hand. If there's one thing that Umbria does very well, it's certainly their wine! La Segreta takes great care of their land, ensuring quality flavour and authenticity in every drop. Enjoy wine tastings at the well-known Sagrantino vineyards, or how about a glass or two on the farmhouse terrace?
The sunset from the farmhouse is unparalleled, with panoramic hilltop views and an expansive 70 acres of natural environment. You'll definitely feel as if you've been let in on Umbria's best kept secret.
A world of hilltop towers, narrow cobblestone streets and endless horizons, Languedoc-Roussillon is the perfect romantic getaway. Take a trip back to the middle ages in this secret hideaway town, hidden from tourist traps. This sultry, summery, sun-baked coastal region really is the ‘real’ South of France and is also best known for its famous vineyards. The magnificent Languedoc-Roussillon also enchants lovers with its old buildings and architecture. Take a trip up to the incredible walled city of Carcassonne, with the enchanting neo-gothic Cite de Carcassonne castle at the top of the hill, conjuring up scenes of a real life fairytale. Explore another peaceful yet remarkable town close by, well hidden from the hustle and bustle. Filled with everything romance, wonder through old alleyways and enjoy its local cafes and bars, discover monuments and the old relic of the cathedral, and the incredible Romanesque Fenestrelle Tower. Oh, and don’t miss the market on a Wednesday or Saturday for fresh bread, sausages and of course plenty of opportunity to sample many cheese. If old architecture isn’t enough romance for you, La Bambouseraie en Cévennes in Anduze is a Japanese-style botanical garden. It was the labour of love back in the nineteenth-century, and is a great place to visit in the sun. Languedoc-Roussillon really is a region full of beautiful history and wonder, there’s just so many places to discover and is definitely the romantic getaway you need to cross of your list!
A seriously decadent townhouse with ethnic-urban style, L’Albiousse sits in the centre of Uzès. Behind its gorgeously old-fashioned wooden doors, this sixteenth-century house welcomes all travellers with a pretty cobbled courtyard, just the same as it has done for hundreds of years. Imagine French-style rooms with high ceilings, large windows and a noble charm. Enjoy traditional French cuisine in the beautiful stone courtyard, experience the sixteenth-century atmosphere of this townhouse and of course, locally made wine.
Submerged in history and culture, Edinburgh never fails to please. Wander through eccentric Grassmarket, the beautiful medieval old town, or up the steep hill at sunrise to Arthur’s Seat to be indulged by the incredible views. This is one of Europe’s most stunning cities, set across rocky hilltops overlooking the North Sea. Even though Paris may be called the ‘City of Love’, Edinburgh definitely has equal amount of delights for romance of all ages. Stroll up to the historical fortress of the famous Edinburgh Castle hand-in-hand and experience the incredible twelfth-century history; take a trip to the Edinburgh Royal Observatory to do some magnificent stargazing, as Scotland has one of the largest expanses of the dark sky in Europe; or snuggle up in the art-deco Dominion Cinema on comfy sofas whilst you catch up on some newly released films, and treat yourselves to some gourmet cinema snacks and wine.
Right in the middle of Edinburgh’s West End, The Dunstane Houses are the ideal retreat for a romantic city break. It is a family-owned luxury boutique hotel with a seamless mix of vintage antiques, neo-classical design and elegant history. The hotel is split between two houses, filled with romantic four-poster beds, free-standing baths and peppered touches of Northern Scotland. In The Dunstane Houses, you can enjoy traditional Scottish delights with a modern twist. Edinburgh is the ideal, pleasant location for a romantic city break in the festive and inspiring Scottish capital.
If you’re looking for something a little bit different, maybe some romantic winter sport activities for your getaway? Well, Gstaad is just the right place for that! Tucked away in the Bernese Oberland region of the Swiss Alps, Gstaad is a luxurious resort village surrounded by soaring mountains, gorgeous wooden chalets and of course, an unparalleled amount of winter activities. Take a walk in the clouds on the ‘Peak Walk’, and experience its outstandingly picturesque views of the alpine tops and the warm glimmering lights of the village. With over 130 miles of snow-piled slopes, it is the quintessential skiing experience. Whether it’s skiing, snowboarding or ice-skating you’re interested in, why not try a relaxing horse and carriage ride, the perfect way to explore the entire area of Gstaad. If your perfect romantic getaway is usually flavoured with winter activities, the best times to visit is between December and late February, otherwise August and September are equally as great for summertime outdoor adventures.
This classic alpine chalet meets modern architecture; Huus Gstaad is the ideal escape hotel. It’s located right in the heart of the Swiss Alps, surrounded by furry snow-topped green forests and mountain tops. Experience the warm, rich interiors, making you feel right at home. Whether it’s revitalising yourselves in the spa, skiing or snowboarding to your heart’s content, or simply enjoying a traditional Swiss hot chocolate by the crackling fire. This really is the perfect winter romantic getaway!
Set in a medieval city shrouded in myths and legends, Ljubljana is the cultural, political and economical centre of Slovenia. Also known as one of Europe’s greenest capitals, it’s filled with beautiful bridges, an emerald-green river flowing through the heart of the city and famously known for its stunning architecture. The best time to go is in September, where the air is still warm, the sun is still shining and the trees are still blooming. Take a stroll or cycle along the Ljubljanica River or stop off at one of the local cafes and enjoy some of the traditional Prekmurska Gibanica cake; consisting of layers of walnuts, poppy seeds, apple and cottage cheese, it’s seriously delicious! Visit the Butchers’ Bridge, sign yours and your partner’s initials on your padlock and experience the symbolic resonance of eternal love. Or, if you’re looking to have a bit more of an adventure, take a trip up to the famous Lake Bled. This is a great place to go if you’re looking for more of an outdoor-oriented getaway, filled with hikes, cycling and a breath of Slovenia’s fresh air. Complement your visit in Ljubljana in the centrally based luxury Lesar Hotel Angel. This quaint, family-run townhouse hotel is set in the heart of the Old City, featuring wooden flooring, cultural design and chic interiors. It’s the perfect hidden secret of Ljubljana! Enjoy the leisurely lunches, rustic dishes and local wine.
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